Day #19: Simplest Way To Approach The Birds!

Best Nature and Bird Photos. Portrait of a Blue-throat taken in Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary or Keoladeo National Park in Bharatpur, Rajasthan, India. Nature, Wildlife, Bird, and Landscape Photography by Prathap.

The Photo

Bluethroat portrait in Keoladeo National Park, formerly known as Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, in Bharatpur, Rajasthan, India.

Story Behind the Photo

Today’s photo story would help you understand how to approach the birds. It’s very easy! Read on…

Every day at around noon I would end up going to the K-Tower in Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary to make a check if I could find some birds there. There were Ruddy Shelduck (also known as Bramhiny Ducks), Spoon bills, Pond herons, and Coots who would often come to the man-made mounts in the lake.  I would wait several hours there to see if I catch some action when the conditions were right.

There was also a white-throated kingfisher in the nearby tree. It was way too skittish and wouldn’t allow me to approach. That made me resort to my gold old trick of sitting as still as possible in one place for several minutes to hours.

That day it was my usual routine as I was waiting to get some photographs of the white-throated kingfisher when I spotted this cute little fella going around swiftly in the nearby bush. It would come out for a few seconds before vanishing into the bush again.

This went on for several minutes until this bluethroat got fed up and started taking it easy. I was hardly moving and it got comfortable. I didn’t take any photographs as I did not want to scare it. See, that’s the secret of getting good photographs 🙂

After a while, the bluethroat ignored me so much that it came within few feet distance. I couldn’t focus it because this cute little fellow was so close! Can you believe it!

Some more wait and I got this photograph of the bluethroat as it turned its head and I got the catchlight in its eye. It was the best pose of this bird so far. Since the bird sat on a wooden log a feet above the ground and I was sitting, it was easier to get an eye level view without disturbing the bird.

Isn’t it easier to sit at one place and let the bird approach you, than you approaching (and scaring) the bird?

Technical Information

Body:  Nikon D750

Lens:  AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4G ED VR

Focal Length:  600mm

Aperture (f-stop):  f/5.6

Shutter Speed:  1/1000 sec

ISO Sensitivity:  ISO-3200

Exposure Compensation: +0.7 step

Metering Mode:  Pattern

Shooting Mode:  Aperture Priority

Quick Tip

It takes patience and persistence to get a photograph like this. Have patience and you will get what you want.

Read this interesting photo story about Keoladeo National Park (formerly known as Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary).

Facts from Wiki

The bluethroat (Luscinia svecica) is a small passerine bird that was formerly classed as a member of the thrush family Turdidae, but is now more generally considered to be an Old World flycatcher, Muscicapidae. It, and similar small European species, are often called chats.

I hope you enjoyed today’s Photo Story. Have a Great Weekend!

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12 Responses to Day #19: Simplest Way To Approach The Birds!

  1. Balaji March 25, 2015 at 10:20 pm #

    i just visited your blog and i must say it has given me a clarity in bird photography with the valuable tips and tricks which i will carry with me while shooting birds.Please continue this great work and looking forward to see more egrets (my favourite).. I am passionate about Photography and being an amateur i am sure your blog will direct me to the right direction. Some of my collection of birds

    • Prathap March 27, 2015 at 10:31 pm #

      Hi Balaji, Thank you so much for your kind words. You have some beautiful photographs out there. Thanks for sharing your work with us.

  2. Barry Southon March 30, 2015 at 12:35 am #

    Prathap, I’ve been lurking for a while viewing your images and reading your publications. You’re doing a great job and thank you so much for sharing the knowledge and expertise.

    Really appreciated.

    • Prathap April 4, 2015 at 10:32 am #

      You have some fantastic images Barry Southon. Nice to know that you are part of our blog. Thank you so much for the appreciation.

  3. Margee March 30, 2015 at 12:41 am #

    Prathap – I want to think you for sharing your photos and experiences with us (me)! I have been using digital photography for less than 2 years so am a sponge when offered such great advice as yours.
    Perhaps now I will begin shooting bird photos. I’m not certain that I have the patience needed but will give it a good effort. Here’s to always learning, even at age 66!

    • Prathap April 4, 2015 at 10:35 am #

      Hi Margee, thank you for your kind words. I am glad that you are getting useful information. You are an inspiration for many of us! I hope you find photography more relaxing and enjoyable. If you keep putting the efforts, patience would come eventually.

  4. Janis Otto March 30, 2015 at 6:08 am #

    Thank you for this tip. It is so valuable. I was very impatient in the past but continue to become more patient as I keep practising my bird photography. This tip has now given me even more inspiration and encouragement. Regards. Janis

    • Prathap April 4, 2015 at 10:40 am #

      Hi Janis, you are absolutely right. With practice you would become more patient. Experience does teach you to be patient because the fruits are well worth the wait. Glad that my stories are useful to you.

  5. Colin March 30, 2015 at 6:45 am #

    Nice photo. Good lesson. Any tips for developing this much patience?

    • Prathap April 4, 2015 at 10:42 am #

      Hi Colin, I think it’s all about keep doing what you do for a very long time. When you know that impatient behavior is not getting you what you want, you would naturally understand that you have to be patient.
      Another important thing is to love what you do so much that you don’t mind the time. As I have observed myself, I tend to spend enormous time with some subjects because I love them. I love everything they do which makes me sit there for hours.

  6. Gopal sundaram March 30, 2015 at 9:45 am #

    hi pratap:

    cute photo. You have mentioned that the photo was taken around noon time. Happen to notice thqt aperture is at f-stop 5.6 and iso is 3200 . Wanted to understand reason for high iso. Do you generally keep iso in auto mode

    • Prathap April 4, 2015 at 10:45 am #

      Hi Gopal, That’s a fantastic observation. The bird was in the shade! That’s the reason you see evenly lit bird with fantastic plumage details. That’s why the ISO is high.
      I generally use auto ISO based on the requirements.

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